‘Let Mammoth Decide’ ballot initiative filed

– Press release

On February 2, long-time Mammoth Lakes residents, Kathy Cage, Michael Agnitch, and Tom Gaunt filed a ballot initiative regarding nightly home rentals in residential neighborhoods.

Mammoth Logo

A “Yes” vote on this initiative will require the Town Council to seek voter approval before changing the laws regarding transient rentals of homes in residential zones (RSF, RR and RMF-1 zones).

Last August, only two months after taking office, the newest Town Council reignited this debate by putting nightly rentals on their short-term list of priorities. Former Mayor and Town Councilmember Kathy Cage says once she saw that there were three votes on the Council to change the current zoning protection she decided it was time to take action.

“We’re tired of wasting our time with the Town Council on this issue.” says Cage. “If this Council doesn’t do it the next one will. We want the people of Mammoth to be able to weigh in on this issue directly rather than relying on elected officials to do it for us. A ‘yes’ vote on this measure will ensure that the Town Council must seek voter approval if they want to expand nightly home rentals into our residential neighborhoods.

“We’ve been debating this issue for over 10 years. I don’t believe the current Council majority who want to allow the commercialization of our residential neighborhoods reflects the values of our community.”

Cage added, “Quality of life for locals does matter. When neighborhoods are opened to nightly rentals, locals get pushed out as the cost of rentals rises and availability drops. We think quality of life for residents trumps the financial interest of property investors.”

Retired Mammoth Lakes High School Principal Michael Agnitch notes, “Mammoth actually has an excellent General Plan and Zoning Map which allows nightly home rentals in several zones. There are currently over 180 homes that are legally zoned for nightly rentals, dozens more under construction and hundreds of large luxury townhomes for our guests to rent. Any missing home rental product should be developed in the zones where it is permitted.”

Cerro Coso College Adjunct Professor Tom Gaunt points out that “My family and I have lived in Mammoth for over 30 years. We raised our children here, it is our home and our community. We know our neighbors and they know us. We’ve seen transient activity in both the legal and illegal home rentals nearby, and there is a fundamental incompatibility between transient renters and residents. By having separate zones, Mammoth currently allows for a wonderful quality of life for residents and a great guest experience for our visitors. Why in the world would we abandon that?”

LetMammothDecide.org

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26 Comments
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Eastside Bum
Eastside Bum
7 years ago

During my time here, I always held to the belief that “those who reside in single family residences have the right to separate themselves” from the daily work they provide in Mammoth. In other words, imagine being employed daily in the resort industry, then coming home after a hard day… Read more »

Den of thieves!
Den of thieves!
7 years ago

Do any of these save the town by growing it campaigns ring a bell? 1.The Airport purchase / Hot creek development 2.The Village / parking structure 3. The tax measures R & U 4. Air subsidies 5. Mammoth Tourism 6. The TBID 7.The Main Lodge landswap Single family neighborhood rentals… Read more »

A Citizen
A Citizen
7 years ago

To everyone who responded. Imagine reading your words as if it was 100 years in the future and then tell me your intent isn’t prejudiced against a class or group of PEOPLE. To say that you missed the target on this one is an understatement. It’s not about renting empty… Read more »

mike
mike
7 years ago

I recently purchased a home in the “Mammoth Slopes” area… I’m truly on the fence with this one, leaning slightly towards NOT allowing single family home rentals. I’ve lived in the rental condo’s and know the joy of idiot weekend renters, but I also believe that everyone has the right… Read more »

Wayne
Wayne
7 years ago

There does seem to be adequate room in the inn, so to speak. Higher priorities should be: 1) long term protection of our water source such as keeping things like ORMAT well downstream, 2) affordable housing and eliminating or at least reducing the need for service workers to commute up… Read more »

MJA
MJA
7 years ago

Isn’t there 30,000 plus rentable beds in Mammoth, and some people are concerned about renting beds? I vote my bed isn’t rentable, how do you vote about yours? =

Turtleneck
Turtleneck
7 years ago

I can see a system where: a) The areas in which single family home rentals are allowed are limited (say, around the ski portals). I don’t think it’s appropriate in Old Mammoth, Sierra Valley, for example – but Mammoth Slopes, the Knolls with a high proportion of second homes..sure, why… Read more »

Tom O
Tom O
7 years ago

As someone who has lived next to a ‘nightly ‘ rental….Here is what you can look forward to- Friday night-about 1130 car pulls up, then 2-3 more cars pull up.Loud music,people talking very loud/yelling. No place to park all of them cars so lets park them on the neighbors driveway[mine]… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
7 years ago
Reply to  Tom O

Question: Why didn’t you call the cops? Why didn’t your neighbors call the cops?

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
7 years ago

The meanness of the replies here — pro and con — just validate Kathy Cage’s initiative to put this to a vote. This is an issue that should be decided one way or the other. There are fallacies on both sides and no amount of discussion will ever resolve the… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago

This isn’t really my business, but I think the owners of these properties should have their freedom to do what they want with their property. I kind of enjoy pissing of my neighbors every now and then!

TJ Davey
TJ Davey
7 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble, you may be speaking tongue in cheek, but your statement that “I kind of enjoy pissing off my neighbors every now and then” is a good example as to why nightly home rentals shouldn’t be located in Mammoth’s residential neighborhoods. As for “rights,” I believe that is a red… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ Davey

TJ- this subject totally sounds like Mammoths version of our Adventure Trail System debate we just went threw. A lot of people assuming the worse. It would be a dark day in hell before I’d allow strangers to stay at my house. But I’m sure 99% of the people that… Read more »

JP
JP
7 years ago

I am also am against changing the rental laws in the RSF, RR and RMF-1 zones. I own a Single Family Home in one of these zones even though I no longer live in Mammoth full-time. I struggle to justify _any_ of the purported benefits of allowing nightly rentals. I… Read more »

sugarmagnolia
sugarmagnolia
7 years ago

After giving this issue some thought over the last year, I am definitively opposed to letting SFR’s be renting out on a short term basis. It’s nice to think, ‘let the little guy make some money from his asset’….but thinking it through, before long (possibly really quickly) the little guy… Read more »

Tinner
Tinner
7 years ago

Maybe this wouldn’t be such a hot topic if the average renters from So Cal weren’t what we’ve all come to know and what we all moved to Mammoth to escape from. I got no problem with visitors staying for a few nights in my neighborhood as long as they… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
7 years ago
Reply to  Tinner

I live on a street with lots of employee housing and lots of second homes. Most people are quiet and non disruptive. The MMSA employees are the noisiest and even they are not so bad. There are laws against the behavior you describe. Sounds more like a police issue than… Read more »

johndoeml
johndoeml
7 years ago

People bought these houses with full knowledge of zoning and rental limitations. The full-time residents who live in these neighborhoods bought those houses because of the limitations and because they were trying to find actual neighborhoods with real live neighbors (like in the Trails or Knolls). If these houses get… Read more »

Kathy Cage
Kathy Cage
7 years ago

I certainly get your perspective. Clearly you have made up your mind on this issue and I respect that. My interest is just to allow the all citizens of Mammoth, including you, to be able to weigh in on this matter directly themselves instead of having to rely on the… Read more »

A Citizen
A Citizen
7 years ago

I never use the word stupid. But after reading this post and going to a non-existent website I can say that policy is no longer in force . In the worst financial year ever, with the pie sliced so thin you can’t even taste it, these “Rocket Surgeons” decide to… Read more »

TJ Davey
TJ Davey
7 years ago
Reply to  A Citizen

While the misinformation and vitriol in your comment mostly speaks for itself, let’s get some facts straight: – Kathy Cage was the only council member who voted against the airport deal that ultimately bankrupted Mammoth. – Your assertion that moving nightly rentals into residential neighborhoods will somehow pay for more… Read more »

A Citizen
A Citizen
7 years ago
Reply to  A Citizen

I’m going to break this down for you so you can understand how I perceive your stance better. Remember when Mountaineers and X-country Skiers were scoffed at on Mammoth Mountain? Skiers wanted to outlaw them. Remember when it was illegal to wear a Walkman on the mountain? Snowboarding was completely… Read more »

Realist
Realist
7 years ago
Reply to  A Citizen

Citizen, you make people think about their actions.

Bennett would have loved your posts.

Den of thieves!
Den of thieves!
7 years ago
Reply to  Realist

My guess is Bennett would’ve seen right through the self serving motivation and the lack of logic in A Citizens points a view. I would like to thing privately she was thinking, you want to see stupid? Start with a mirror, but that is my thought, not hers. Maybe she… Read more »

TJ Davey
TJ Davey
7 years ago
Reply to  A Citizen

Did you even read my comment? The “law breakers and tax cheats” are the Mammoth homeowners who are currently renting their homes on a nightly basis in flagrant violation of town law. These are the folks that you’re going to be relying on to pay TOT in the future, if… Read more »

sierragrl
sierragrl
7 years ago
Reply to  A Citizen

I have to agree with TJ Davey….your comments are full of vitriol and are nonsense. Letting the people of the town decide with a vote is the american way. BY putting this on the ballot, they are letting YOU and the other residents decide this issue, the way it should… Read more »